Why Europa League win shows West Ham should not waste money on their defence

West Ham United's Europa League win over minnows Lusitans may not have told us much about Slaven Bilic's new era, but it did prove the future is bright.

The Hammers have been one of the most active clubs in the transfer market so far this summer bringing in goalkeeper Darren Randolph and midfield stars Pedro Obiang and Dimitri Payet, with Alex Song and Carl Jenkinson expected to follow soon - as per the Daily Mail.

Slaven Bilic's side have also been linked with big money moves for centre-halves, including Monaco's Aymen Abdennour and Dynamo Kiev's Aleksandar Dragovic - as per the Mirror - as well as Juventus' Italian international Angelo Ogbonna - as per Sky Sports.

Some of the figures quoted are eye-watering, with Abdennour said to be rated at £21 million, Dragovic £20 million and Ogbonna £12 million.

But if West Ham's performance in the Upton Park 3-0 win over Andorran minnows FC Lusitans taught us nothing else, it certainly showed that would be good money wasted.

That's because at one stage the Hammers' entire back four was made up of Academy players, led by first-team star James Tomkins.

It featured Reece Burke, who burst onto the Premier League scene under Sam Allardyce last season and has had West Ham fans' tongues wagging such has been the ease with which he has adapted to life in the big time.

Burke has been tipped for full England honours and is already establishing himself as a first-team player at just 18 years old.

Will the next Rio Ferdinand please stand up

Then there is Reece Oxford, who at 16 became the youngest player ever to wear the claret and blue in the club's 120-year history.

Compared to Rio Ferdinand before him, Oxford - an England youth captain who plays two years above his natural age group - has the towering height, build and athleticism to be a star for club and country.

He was composed and good on the ball and aside from a bit of ring rust had an impressive debut which could have been marked with a goal.

Homegrown Hammers will have their progress stunted

Homegrown Hammer Lewis Page slotted in at left-back like he's been playing for the first-team for years. The boyhood West Ham fan looked sharp and focused on his senior debut.

He had some neat touches and wasn't afraid to get on the ball and get at his opposite number, a quality West Ham fans like to see in their full-backs.

And it is not just them. The club has more Irons in the fire with the likes of lightning quick Oscar Borg - who has been likened to Real Madrid star Gareth and is even nicknamed after the Welsh wizard - also set to emerge over the coming seasons after committing his future to the club amid interest from Manchester United - per the Daily Mail.

Money would be better spent at the other end of the pitch

With the club's best defender Winston Reid, potential signing Jenkinson, Hammer of the Year Aaron Cresswell, new signing Stephen Hendrie, veteran James Collins and Canada star Doneil Henry all to come in too, it would make no sense stunting the progress of the young stars by bringing in expensive signings to play ahead of them.

Most West Ham fans would tell you that money would be better spent at the other end of the pitch, with goals proving a real problem for the club in 2015 when the injury-prone Andy Carroll and fellow striker Diafra Sakho were in the treatment room.

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